Specialized Offers 650B Stumpjumper
The final hold-out among major U.S. brands will make at least two 650B bikes for model year 2015
Specialized is offering two models of its venerable Stumpjumper mountain bike in the 650B, or 27.5-inch, wheel size, becoming the final major U.S. brand to market a mountain bike built around the meet-in-the-middle wheels.
The Stumpjumper FSR Comp EVO and FSR Expert Carbon EVO are both available in 650B, according to the Specialized website. Three models of the Stumpjumper 26-inch wheels are still listed on the site, alongside the 650B additions.
That wheel size has gained swift and widespread acceptance among mountain-bike manufacturers in the past several years—nearly sending 26-inch-wheeled bikes into obsolescence, especially at the high-end—but Specialized had resisted the shift until now. Instead it has focused on the merits of its larger-wheeled 29er bikes, particularly the long-travel Enduro 29er.
According to its website, the 650B models are purpose-built for aggressive trail riding, and set themselves apart from other Stumpys with a slacker head angle and 150 millimeters of front and rear travel. The geometry is not available for the 650B models, and 26-inch Stumpys are already built around a 150-millimeter suspension platform, so it would appear that the 650B bikes are not gaining additional travel.
The $3,400 FSR Comp Evo 650B model comes in an alloy frame with a SRAM X9 10-speed rear derailleur and X7 front derailleur; Shimano Deore brakes; custom Fox Float CTD rear shock with Autosag; RockShox Revelation RC3 650B front fork; and Specialized-branded tires and cockpit parts, including the Command dropper post.
The $6,500 Expert carbon fiber EVO version also gets you XT brakes and a SRAM X01 1×11 drivetrain and a RockShox Pike fork. For full details, go to www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/mountain/stumpjumper-fsr